The armies that wage war on the battlefield exact a heavy toll on the economies that support them. Even the lowliest of fighters has living expenses that must be met. Their armor must be oiled, their bows strung, and their weapons kept in clean condition. In short, these armies require Upkeep. In Warcraft III, Upkeep takes the form of a tax on your Gold mining that is automatically deducted from all Gold you gather. As you produce more units, the tax on your Gold income increases.
There are three levels of Upkeep:
- No Upkeep (0-50 Food: 100% income): No Upkeep occurs when you have an army consuming 50 food or less. At this level, there is no tax on your Gold mining, so your workers bring in 100 percent of their Gold.
- Low Upkeep (51-80 Food: 70% income): Low Upkeep arises when your army consumes between 51 and 80 food. The tax on your economy is modest, draining a small percentage of Gold from everything you mine.
- High Upkeep (81-100 Food: 40% income): High Upkeep is reached when your army grows beyond 80 food. Your Upkeep needs are so great that the tax levied on your Gold mining is enormous. A large percentage of Gold is taken from your workers before they ever deliver it into your coffers.
In Reign of Chaos, the Upkeep levels are decreased by 10 (No Upkeep is 0-40, Low is 41-70, High is 71-90).
Upkeep has been included to improve tactical management for players while fostering a more aggressive style of gameplay. Players are more aggressive and turtle far less in their bases, and it gives players real strategic decisions to make about how many units they wish to control with pros and cons to each. Upkeep is also instituted to focus the game on smaller numbers of units. The more units that are allowed in the game, the less powerful Heroes will be relative to your army. This is simple math. High Upkeep is MEANT to be very punishing. Players should not be in it for long, but Blizzard didn't want to set the harsh unit cap at 80.
During play, it is wise to stay in Low Upkeep, and only move to High Upkeep when there are enough resources to maintain your army. Try not to enter High Upkeep unless you have 2-3+ Expansions.